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Simmons error?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by fxb3, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. fxb3

    fxb3 New Member

    Anyone notice Simmons latest? It reads like the Cavs won their last game (they lost to Philadelphia in OT) on Wednesday, April 15. Below is how it read at 12:36 a.m. on Thursday, April 16. If the stats were compiled on Monday, did he just assume the Cavs would win again?

    1. LeBron James
    And not just because he finally put together that insane package of skills. LeBron submitted the most convincing MVP season since Shaq's 2000 campaign. Four things to consider beyond all the obvious stuff:

    1. Only seven teams won 67-plus games and the title: the '96 Bulls (72 wins), '97 Bulls (69), '72 Lakers (69), '67 Sixers (68), '86 Celts (67), '92 Bulls (67), '00 Lakers (67). Each of those teams had at least two HALL OF FAMERS. LeBron played with Mo Williams, who made the All-Star Game only as an injury replacement. Same goes for Cleveland's record-tying 40-1 mark at home; the '86 Celtics did it in a more imposing building (the old Boston Garden) with five Hall of Famers (I'm including DJ, who should be in there). Will you be bouncing your grandkids on your lap and telling them about the time you saw Mo Williams play? What about Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Those 67-15 and 40-1 marks happened because of the day-to-day competitiveness of a player whose drive can only be described as "Jordanesque." Maybe he's not as ruthless -- and really, nobody will ever be as ruthless as Jordan -- but from a consistency standpoint, LeBron is right there.

    2. Defensively, he improved to such a startling degree that he's also my Defensive Player of the Year. Considering that LeBron defended the other team's best scorer every night, played the free-safety role better than anyone since Scottie Pippen, defended four different positions, allowed his team to play small or big, and always seemed to have one momentum-altering block per game ... I mean, what more do you need?

    3. Offensively, only four players since 1974 led their teams in total points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks: Dave Cowens (1978), Scottie Pippen (1995), Kevin Garnett (2003) and LeBron (2009). He also became the first top-three scorer to crack the top 25 in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks as well: 28.4 ppg (second), 7.2 apg (ninth), 7.6 rpg (25th), 1.69 steals (seventh), 1.15 blocks (23rd). Since Feb. 1, he's averaging a 29-8-8 and approaching the 50-40-80 Club in percentages (49 percent FG, 40 percent 3FG, 78 percent FT). Let's just say his statistical chops are in place.

    4. And this is my favorite reason ...

    Not since Magic Johnson has a superstar doubled as such a galvanizing teammate. If there's an enduring image of the '08-09 season, it's the way LeBron stamped his personality on everyone around him. They orchestrate goofy pregame intros (my favorite: the team snapshot), trade countless chest bumps, giggle on the sidelines, hang out on road trips and support each other in every way. What's telling about LeBron's in-traffic dunks -- and he unleashes them more frequently than anyone since Dominique -- is how he seeks out his bench for feedback, and even better, how they give it to him. It makes the forced camaraderie of the Lakers seem glaring. If you want to watch a team that pulls for each other and follows the lead of its best player, watch Cleveland.

    And if you're a Cavs fan trying to talk yourself into LeBron staying after 2010, your best chance is this: Through 24 years, LeBron has proven to be an inordinately devoted guy. When you're with him, you're with him. The upcoming documentary (supposedly superb) about his high school years bangs this point home. So does the fact that he jettisoned his agents and surrounded himself with high school buddies. So does everything that happened this season. He's as good of a teammate as a player. The more I watch him, the more I wonder if such an intensely loyal guy would ever say, "Thanks for the memories, everybody," dump his teammates, dump his hometown and start a fresh life elsewhere. Although he isn't surrounded by the most talented players right now, collectively, it's a team in the truest sense, with a devoted set of appreciative fans, and maybe that's all LeBron James will need in the end.

    I thought he was a goner four months ago. I think he's staying now. Regardless, he's our Most Valuable Player for 2009. It won't be the last time.

    Thanks to the ESPN Stats & Information group for its help. All stats through Monday.

  2. Yes, good catch! He assumed. Funny.
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I'll assume he meant the individual stats in reason No. 3.
    It's a bad mistake, but one an editor should have caught. All of us, at one time or another, have turned in a piece like this ahead of time with certain facts and figures assumed. Normally you'd put a big blaring "CHECK THIS STAT BEFORE PUBLISHING!!!!!" at the top of it to alert the editor.
    Either way, I'm not sure it's worth crushing the guy over.
  4. fxb3

    fxb3 New Member

    I'm not rippin' on the guy, but argument No. 1 makes no sense with the Cavs losing. The Cavs didn't get 67 wins or tie the home mark. Gibson's 3-pointer to send it OT was clutch, though. ???
  5. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Ah, I didn't catch that. I'm not an NBA junkie. I knew the Cavs were having a good year, but I didn't even realize they were 65+ wins good.
    But that does make sense why it's a brutal mistake now.
  6. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    He can commisserate with the Dwarf.
  7. topsheep

    topsheep Member

    Wade is as ruthless as Jordan. Doesn't have the surrounding talent, but he's a killer on the loose.

    Should be MVP, but LeBron will get it even though Kobe could easily repeat.

    But, Wade is every bit as ruthless as any of the greatest players of all time.
  8. mediaguy

    mediaguy Active Member

    It's not the same holy-cow factor anymore when I see typos or fact errors at ESPN.com or SI.com or in the magazines. Though if we started a thread each time there was a mistake like this, it would actually take some of the edge off the 10 "major cuts at _______" threads otherwise dominating the boards ...
  9. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    He did get one thing right for sure -- LeBron is the awesomest and none of you can have him.
  10. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm an aberration, but I've never done that.

    If something needs updating, I put XXX, in caps, and in bold, and put NEEDS UPDATING, again, in caps and in bold.

    No way that gets through anybody, and I just don't see how these big names can get away with these kinds of assumptions, and then not calling back, right away, upon realizing that the Cavs have lost, either.
  11. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I usually do that, too.
    In this case, however, since that whole paragraph was based on the Cavs winning 67 games, I can see why Simmons would have just written it as is. If this thing ran Wednesday, he probably finished it Monday or Tuesday. It's not like the entire premise of the piece hinged on the outcome of one game, even if that one point might have.
    It's understandable, but doesn't completely absolve him. He should have also written an alternate paragraph to plug in there if the Cavs lost, or put that blaring neon warning at the top when he e-mailed the column to his editors. Or called his editors to alert them to it. And the editors should have realized the mistake while reading it over.
    There was fail on both sides here.
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    The Dwarf and The Twerp?
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